In the six short months since Citrix contributed CloudStack to the Apache Foundation, the decision has proved a huge success in both open source and commercial terms. A thriving and fast-growing open source community has already driven CloudStack through a full product cycle, culminating in the impending release of Apache CloudStack 4.0, the release currently incubating in the Apache Software Foundation. CloudStack has also won the support of major vendors including Cisco, CA and NetApp, all of whom announced significant investments in the platform this week at Citrix Synergy in Barcelona.

More importantly, CloudStack continues to gain rapid adoption with large scale deployments around the world, both with major service provider and enterprise customers. While you might not realize it from reading the press releases, CloudStack is far and away the most widely deployed open source platform in the cloud. It’s not even a close race. While other platforms have lots of “PR wins”, very few have been successful in real deployments.

CloudStack, by contrast, has 100s of successful clouds in full production from some of the biggest brands in the world. These aren’t all small clouds either. CloudStack customers are already generating over $1 billion in revenue from their cloud services, and the largest commercial cloud has more than 30,000 physical servers in production.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to use our community product either as many of our Open Source users have deployed more than 1000 physical servers in their cloud, with more being added all the time. The world’s largest telecom companies – from BT to China Telecom – are also betting big on CloudStack, building their next-generation platforms on CloudStack and CloudPlatform. And while it might not be generating all the headlines, that’s ok because we believe that in the world of clouds, “POs trump PR” every time.

With hundreds contributing developers, and thousands community members, CloudStack has also quickly become one of the fastest growing open source community projects of any kind in the market. It’s also truly independent: fewer than one-third of the product’s contributors are affiliated with Citrix, nor do we have a controlling interest over the Apache PMC (project management committee) for CloudStack.

By empowering developers to act as individual drivers of value and innovation rather than as proxies for companies with vested interests, the Apache model has maintained a laser focus on building a community that delivers software focused on user needs.

Further, companies know that the health of CloudStack is in the hands of a broad community that’s larger than Citrix. They have the opportunity to be directly involved with the Apache CloudStack community, where corporate affiliation is irrelevant.

In response, CloudStack has gained mainstream adoption.

  • CloudStack is currently adding more than 500 new clouds a month, including customers far beyond the service provider market where CloudStack first gained traction. The solution has become a standard platform in academia, launching some great community clouds and augmenting technical compute efforts.  One community member mentioned that a couple of implementations even played a key role in the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson—the so-called “God particle” – in their interaction with CERN. We all thought that was pretty cool.
  • We’ve also seen CloudStack penetrate the consumer applications market —from cool social gaming platforms to navigation services.  We’ve also got CloudStack working to help deliver a highly popular cloud music service used by many of the people reading this post.
  • CloudPlatform, the Citrix product based on CloudStack, now powers the public, private or hybrid cloud strategies of more than 130 organizations around the globe. Many of the world’s leading telecom companies have chosen CloudPlatform as the foundation for their next-generation cloud computing offerings, including BT, China Telecom, EVRY, IDCFrontier, KDDI, KT, NTT Communications, Orange MBS and Slovak Telecom.  Even the world’s greenest cloud is powered by CloudStack, mashing together IT transformation with the spirit of saving the planet one application at a time.

As CloudStack and CloudPlatform achieve mainstream commercial success, they have also drawn the support of tech industry leaders to extend and enhance the technology — even without giving them a corporate seat at the table (which is the way true open source communities should work).

  • Cisco has joined Citrix in a new strategic partnership to build an integrated cloud orchestration solution based on Citrix CloudPlatform. This new solution will integrate CloudPlatform with the Cisco Nexus series switches, Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) and the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). Cisco will also be creating validated designs for CloudPlatform and CloudStack to provide enterprises and service providers with a proven platform for building, managing and deploying Amazon-style clouds. They are also supporting the CloudStack project with engineers working within the community helping to bring together the Quantum project and the networking components of CloudStack.
  • CA will participate and support both CloudStack and CloudPlatform with its broad portfolio of enterprise cloud management solutions including the CA Cloud Automation Suite and CA Nimsoft Monitor.  This helps bring cloud into the mainstream enterprise datacenter.  Just like Cisco, CA is also participating directly in the CloudStack community.
  • NetApp continues to collaborate with Citrix on CloudStack and CloudPlatform to integrate and simplify enterprise cloud storage, leveraging their unified storage architecture capabilities within CloudStack.  Watch out VCE and vBlocks as we’ve already deployed a number of converged infrastructure clouds here including ones at KIVBF and University of Sao Paulo.
  • Alcatel-Lucent has based its CloudBand carrier cloud solution on CloudStack as a management layer, driving key integrations with OpenStack, NetApp and HP.  One interesting move on this front is the support for OpenStack APIs, driving interoperability between both open source cloud projects
  • Many other key ecosystem vendors have also recently committed to embracing and developing solutions around CloudStack, including Basho, BigSwitch, Inktank/Ceph, Nicira, Midokura  and SolidFire, bringing even more value to the ecosystem in hot areas of storage software and software defined networking.

You can view a number of great videos from our partners here, including reference designs from Cisco, RightScale, enStratus, UShareSoft, Zenoss and many others.

Many industry observers were surprised when we contributed CloudStack to the Apache Foundation. After all, Citrix had just paid a significant amount of money for—and now we were contributing the copyrights, code, and control over to the open source community, just as CloudStack was increasing its momentum and bringing more revenue to Citrix.

We made the move based on a simple but powerful belief that “open” wins in the cloud era, and that by contributing CloudStack to the home of the world’s most successful open source projects, we’d all gain much more—Citrix, the open source community and the customers we serve. That’s exactly what has happened, and we couldn’t be more excited by it.

To the larger Apache community, thank you for the opportunity and helping us achieve this. We couldn’t have done it without the contributors who’ve joined the CloudStack effort, and we’re excited to continue working with you to finish the 4.0.0-incubating release and work towards graduating as a top-level Apache project.